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Higher Education
San Jacinto College
News Release
Friday, October 21, 2011

New law requires incoming college students under 30 to get meningitis vaccination 

PASADENA, Texas — A San Jacinto College (SJC) committee is putting together plans for implementing a new state law that requires incoming college students to receive a vaccination or booster against bacterial meningitis. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

The new law was passed after a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found college-age individuals between 17 and 21 are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

The meningitis vaccine is required for all new students to San Jacinto College for the Spring 2012 term. Transfer students are considered new students.

Under the law, a student, or parent or guardian, must show evidence of receipt of an initial bacterial meningitis vaccination dose or booster during the five-year period preceding, and at least 10 days prior to the first day of the first semester in which the student initially enrolls at an institution, or following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester at the same or another institution.

People who are exempt from the new meningitis vaccination law include students who are 30 years of age or older; students who are enrolled exclusively in online or other distance education courses; students who present an affidavit signed by a licensed physician stating that the vaccination would be injurious to the health of the student; and students who present a conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State and Health Services stating the student declines the vaccination for reasons of conscience, including religious belief.

“The San Jacinto College meningitis vaccine committee is carefully reviewing all parts of the legislation to determine how best to implement the new law and ensure that our campuses are safe for all students,” commented Dr. William Raffetto, SJC vice president of enrollment services.

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CUTLINE: A committee that includes 16 San Jacinto College (SJC) administrators and staff members work on plans to implement a new law requiring incoming college students to be vaccinated against meningitis. Dr. William Raffetto, SJC vice president of enrollment services, (left) leads the group in a discussion. Also shown (from left) are Dr. Barbara Ake, South Campus dean of allied health and science; Michael Heiser, SJC enterprise applications manager; and Linda Pennington, SJC business analyst. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing department.

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. Our graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook at

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